Tigers are arguably the most powerful cats in the entire world. Not many animals alive today could challenge them to a one-on-one fight and survive. What would happen if they encountered another type of ambush predator, the apex predator in most environments? That’s the question we’ll answer when we pit crocodiles against tigers in a combat duel.
Let’s see how they compare and which of them will dominate both on the ground and in the water.
Comparing Crocodiles and Tigers
|size||Weight: 400 lbs to 800 lbs (sometimes more)|
Height: 1′ to 2′ off the ground Length: 8.2′ to 15′ long
|Weight: 500 lbs – 660 lbs|
Height: 3 ft – 4 ft at the shoulders 8 ft – 12.5 ft in length
|speed and movement type||– 30 mph over short distances on land|
– Movement includes swimming and running on the ground
|– 30-40 mph|
– 20ft-25ft leap
– Limited snake venom resistance
– Hissing threat display
|– Huge size|
– powerful roar
– Striped fur camouflage helps tigers blend in with their surroundings.
|offensive ability||– 2,980 PSI bite force|
– about 80 teeth
– Teeth about 2 inches long
– Death rolls can be amputated instantly
– Repeated chewing can puncture organs while holding prey in place
|– 4 inch claws for killing prey|
– Strong bite at 1,050 PSI
– 3.5″ canines
– Strong jaws allow tigers to pinch and suffocate prey – Great muscular strength helps them overwhelm prey
|predatory behavior||– Keep eyes and nostrils above water to ambush prey|
– Usually ambush attacks from water
– Clip onto enemies and use death rolls
|– Ambush Predator|
– Stalk and attack under favorable conditions
– Attempts to clamp onto the back of the head or neck of prey to inflict a fatal bite.
What is the main difference between a crocodile and a tiger?
The biggest difference between crocodiles and tigers is their morphology and geographic location. Common in North America and parts of Asia, alligators are reptiles that resemble large lizards, with huge mouths, scaly skin, and long tails. Tigers are large feline mammals from parts of Asia and Eurasia with muscular, fur-covered bodies, long tails, and very large heads.
Although these animals are quite different, they are both known to be powerful predators in their respective fields. Before we can declare a winner in this battle, though, we need more information.
What are the key factors in a crocodile vs. tiger fight?
How can we determine which animal won the battle without combing through all the data? In the wild, only certain factors can greatly affect a fight between two animals. Elements such as size, speed and offensive ability are crucial in a fight.
These are the types of things we look at, granting an advantage to one of the creatures, and weighing the final decision.
Crocodile vs. Tiger: Size
In many cases, crocodiles are heavier than tigers, but in many cases they are shorter in height and length. The average alligator weighs between 400 and 800 pounds, stands about 2 feet off the ground and can grow up to 15 feet long. However, the largest alligators weigh more than 1,000 pounds and are more than 13 feet long.
Tigers typically weigh between 500 and 600 pounds, stand 3-4 feet tall at the shoulder, and grow to 12.5 feet long including their tail. However, the largest tigers in the wild weighed more than 800 pounds and were about 11 feet long.
Alligators have a size advantage in this fight.
Crocodile and Tiger: Speed and Movement
Tigers can move at breakneck speeds of up to 40 mph while using their powerful legs to propel them forward. When they run, they can perform jumps, reaching up to 20 feet, allowing them to attack with speed and ferocity.
Alligators tend to move between 9.5 and 11 mph on land, with bursts of about 30 mph over very, very short distances. However, they can swim at about 20 mph, which gives them an advantage in the water.
Tigers have a speed advantage on land, while crocodiles have a speed advantage in water.
Crocodile vs. Tiger: Defense
Tigers use their size, defensive stance and speed to avoid danger. Apart from humans, who are still routinely killed by tigers, they are firmly established as the most dangerous animals in their range.
The advantages of alligators are the dark skin that can hide them underwater, the ability to move relatively quickly on land and in water, and the threat display that can warn creatures that they need to back off. Their skin is thick and scaly, giving them some protection against attack.
Alligators have better defenses, so they have the advantage in this situation.
Crocodile vs. Tiger: Offensive Capabilities
Both tigers and crocodiles use their teeth to attack other creatures. In the case of tigers, their bite force is around 1,050 PSI, which pushes 3.5 inches of canine teeth into prey. Tigers use their weight, strong jaws, raw strength and 4 inch long claws to inflict great damage on their prey.
The bite force of a crocodile is almost three times that of a tiger. With 80 teeth about 2 inches long, they are specialists in biting their enemies for damage.
Additionally, they have a special attack method called a death roll. The attack occurs when a crocodile bites its prey and then rolls its massive body over and over to kill, dismember or disorient them.
Both of these animals are very powerful in terms of attacking abilities.
Crocodiles and Tigers: Predation
Tigers are ambush predators, they will wait under cover for a suitable animal to show up. When an animal approaches, the tiger will stalk it, break cover, and charge at it before leaping and snapping a fatal bite to its throat or neck.
Crocodiles usually wait by the water’s edge until their prey get close enough, such as when they are drinking. They then swoop through the water, grab their prey, and drag it into the water to bite.
Both animals are very efficient predators.
Who will win in a fight between a crocodile and a tiger?
The tiger will win the fight with the crocodile. However, the ruling has some caveats. If a hungry tiger decides to attack a crocodile on land, the crocodile has no chance.
Tigers are too fast and good at ambush, and crocodiles cannot fight back on land. Even if the ambush fails, the crocodile can be killed with superior agility and raw strength. A light blow from their claws could knock down or kill a crocodile, as such attacks have killed cattle.
A tiger is also very comfortable in the water, even if it is not as comfortable as a crocodile. If the crocodile ambushes the tiger, it is likely to cause significant or even fatal damage to the tiger. But if its ambush goes botched and it doesn’t deliver a devastating blow, the tiger can still fight back and kill the crocodile.
In this case, the most likely outcome was for the big cat to bite into the alligator’s head and neck, brutally ending the fight. That’s not to say the Alligator can’t win, but it certainly has a smaller chance.
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.
Leave a Reply